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BEREAVEMENT GUIDE A tribute, or eulogy, is a part of the funeral

service in many faiths, and is equally a part of services where no particular faith is represented. The tribute is delivered either by the minister or celebrant, or by a member of the family or a close friend. If the person who has died was closely linked

to a particular place of religious worship it is likely the minister will know much about them already. The minister will ask you as next of kin for additional details so that he/she can deliver a heart-warming and personal summary of the deceased’s life. If the minister or celebrant did not know

the deceased personally, their tribute will be composed entirely of stories and anecdotes passed on by you and your family. Many people choose to deliver the eulogy themselves. This ensures a personal connection that an unfamiliar minister or celebrant may be unable to offer. What you put into a tribute is entirely your choice. Do not feel that you have to stick with tradition or convention. There is nothing wrong with some gentle humour or even hearty laughter when appropriate. Many tributes are a brief summary of a

person’s life. They name some of the key people gathered in the congregation and their impact on the deceased (or vice versa). They use anecdotes to capture the deceased’s personality and they frequently end with a heartfelt farewell. The tribute can be emotional to listen to,

and even more difficult to deliver. However, many people feel it important that they deliver their message. It can give them a real sense of achievement and pride, as well as a feeling that they have ‘done their bit’ for the deceased. It is, however, wise to write your tribute down. If you do become too emotional to complete the eulogy, someone else will then be able to step in for you. You might want to arrange this beforehand, just in case. Since even the most unreligious funeral will often be attended by mourners who do

have some form of faith, a period of silence will usually be announced, during which the congregation can contemplate their own thoughts or make a silent prayer according to their own beliefs. Remember, if you are using a crematorium,

there will be tight timing to work within, usually half an hour from arrival to departure.

ARRANGEMENTS AFTER THE FUNERAL After the funeral you must keep the grave or memorial in good order - this is likely to be a condition of your agreement with the cemetery authority. If you are unable to personally keep a grave or other memorial maintained, local grave and memorial tending services will be able to help. Always check your deeds or agreement with the authority on what you can and can’t place in and around the grave. If something doesn’t meet with the authority’s requirements, they will probably reserve the right to remove it, which can be distressing. You may also need to decide what to do with the ashes. You could bury them near to a memorial plaque or in a Garden of Remembrance in a recorded but unmarked position, or alongside the remains of another family member. Alternatively, you could choose to take the

ashes away with you and then you can take your time in deciding what happens next.

• The ashes could remain in the urn

• They could be divided amongst members of the family

• They could be scattered in the garden

• They could be scattered at sea, in rivers or on mountains

• They could be scattered at a place close to the deceased’s heart (sports grounds are

not unusual choices) If you intend to scatter the ashes in any public

place, or on private land, you must obtain the permission of the landowner. You should also check that there are no restrictions on scattering ashes in your chosen location.

Column pictures top – bottom: Leaf on a grave

by, Angel by, Old autumn tomb by, Concrete Jungle 15 by

Bottom left – right: Angel by, Y

ellow Flower by

Farewell Magazine


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